French space officials say an Ariane rocket has successfully placed into orbit seven satellites, including at least one that is to gather intelligence for France's military. The rocket, with the Helios 2A military satellite, lifted off from the European Space Agency's center in Kourou, French Guiana on Saturday. The 4.2 ton spacecraft is to gather both optical and infrared intelligence. Officials say it is the first of a new generation of spy satellites. French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie hailed the successful launch sending her congratulations to the scientists in Paris. The other satellites include the Parasol designed to study cloud formations in the upper atmosphere.